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SANDY SAID it HERE BEFORE: NCIS and its PROGENY teach the people IT’S OKAY and DESIRABLE to GUT our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS! (And PERSON OF INTEREST shows that SURVEILLANCE is GREAT!)

I said it here!  Right here at Virginia Right!  The leading show in America:  NCIS, on Tuesday nights (followed by NCIS: LA and Person of Interest) is making the deprivation of rights acceptable and desirable.

Now this view finds support in this news site:  The Business Insider, taken from The Atlantic!  (If The Atlantic is looking for a great blogger, I know one!  It did wonders for Andrew Sullivan!)  Written by Gregg Easterbrook, this is a somewhat different take on the issue:

The Most Popular Show In America Is Basically NSA Propaganda

Here’s a highlight or two (and my proven visionary analysis):

NCIS and its sibling NCIS: Los Angeles are the top-rated dramas on television, a distinction they have held for several years.

***

But what exactly are so many Americans watching—and rooting for—when they tune in for these TV shows? A closer look reveals that both series are uncomfortably akin to a cheering section for the NSA: The shows depict a world in which terrorists planning mass slaughter are under every bed, in which viewers root for the good-looking, wisecracking agents to smash down doors without warrants; in which super-advanced electronic surveillance is used exclusively to protect the public. In the NCIS version of reality, we’ll all die unless powerful government agencies treat the United States Constitution like a big joke.

Exactly my point, Easterbrook!  Now his emphasis is the lack of any accountability to courts, Fourth Amendment etc. in the plot lines of the show:

On NCIS, info often comes from a particular tech staffer who can tap into any cell phone or video feed in mere seconds, never needing a password and never pausing for a judge’s permission. (She dresses Goth; she’s no Oliver North!) NCIS Los Angeles features two cool young techies who operate a never-explained super-computer that requires mere seconds to pinpoint any vaguely Middle Eastern-seeming person anywhere in the Golden State. Then the agents declare that if they have to stop to get a search warrant, the innocent will die.

Easterbrook also discusses surveillance technology, some perhaps fanciful today.  And my emphasis in my article was interrogation.  Of course, as Easterbrook points out in his article, the terrorists and bad guys are seldom if ever Islamic but usually from Eastern Europe.  (I actually think on NCIS:LA the villain was Russian!  How did they know months ago that Russia would be the bad guy?  Maybe Easterbrook found the answer:  Lockheed Martin is a technical contributor to one of the shows and is thanked in the closing credits:

In this respect, it’s somewhat spooky that NCIS Los Angeles is sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest military manufacturer. As the credits roll, “Promotional consideration furnished by Lockheed Martin” appears in tiny type. Lockheed Martin does not market any consumer products—watching NCIS Los Angeles cannot inspire anyone to log onto Amazon and purchase an F-35 strike fighter. Yet the firm underwrites the show, which makes itself seem hip with references to NPR and gay rights, then offers plotlines in which advanced wiretap technology is good for the public. For car companies to have product placements in detective drama is one thing; for military contractors to underwrite programming that lauds Big Brother tactics is another.

That’s right!  Who knew?  (I obviously was not watching enough!)  And Easterbrook is right about the third in the Tuesday night troika (Oh no, I used a Russian word!  Gibbs might have a few questions for me!) Person of Interest, a creepy show about a truly Orwellian dystopian society where everybody is watched and this free-lancer, who is a refugee from the government agency who set up the surveillance, uses the saves the day for a hapless victim:

The NCIS twins aren’t the only primetime shows that glamorize electronic surveillance. Person of Interest, often in the Nielsen top 10, concerns an imaginary super-computer that fuses all data from all the world’s devices, then directs the heroes to places where the innocent are imperiled. “The machine sees everything,” the intro intones. And is used solely for good!

So maybe you want to reconsider your Tuesday night viewing.  I can assure you if Jethro Gibbs was seen smoking a (GASP!) cigarette or worse yet, offering one to a teenager, there’d be a hue and cry about it!  Hollywood says they are concerned about rights and progressive causes but this seems to have gone below the radar.  Thanks also to the Daily Paul (look there often!) for this item.  And for more proven visionary analysis read Virginia Right, too!

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

One Response to “SANDY SAID it HERE BEFORE: NCIS and its PROGENY teach the people IT’S OKAY and DESIRABLE to GUT our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS! (And PERSON OF INTEREST shows that SURVEILLANCE is GREAT!)”

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    1. […] night is the continuing celebration of the police and surveillance state on CBS.  From 8 to 9 we have NCIS, where the Leroy Jethro Gibbs team is not above breaking a few […]


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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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